The World Travel Trends Report 2009, launched by market research company Euromonitor at WTM (World Travel Market) in London earlier this month, acknowledges how tough 2008/9 has been for the tourism industry, but highlights positive trends that create optimism for the tourism industry for 2010, reports bizcommunity.com.

Euromonitor identified the following tourism trends:

1.   The “grey market” (travellers 60 + years) is recession-resistant as far as its travel plans go, and is undeterred about the recession, poor exchange rates and airport taxes.

2.   USA President Barack Obama has made Africa an attractive continent to explore, especially for African-Americans who want to trace their roots and visit their countries of origin.   There are 41 million African-Americans living in the USA.

3.  Golf tourism in Asia is expanding, and is a major source of income for Thailand, growing at 10 %, ahead of the tourism industry growth rate, and valued at $ 800 million.

4.   Women-only hotels are being established in the Middle East, the first being the Luthan Hotel& Spa in Saudia Arabia.   Egypt and Iran are also developing such hotels.

5.  Given the over-supply of rooms, by as much as 25 %  in the UK, a new concept called “pop-up hotels” has been launched in the UK, which can be built at short notice to meet demand.   Travelodge opened such a hotel in Uxbridge last year, and plans to build 20 more in the next ten years.   These hotels only have to meet occupancy targets for a set period of time, and create an opportunity for PR and word-of-mouth marketing.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com